What a week both on and off the field all around the Premier League.
For the Arsenal, the only action was on the green grass where we saw the good, the bad and the ugly.
The good was our fighting spirit as we succeeded in getting to the 5th Round of the FA Cup and, more importantly, getting 3 points against Everton.
The bad was our overall performances against Huddersfield and Everton. You need luck to win the Cup and so far we have ridden that after gutsy performances from both Leeds and Huddersfield. But we are through and that is all that matters. A good tie vs Orient lies in wait. It won’t be easy but we should be in the hat for the 6th Round.
I have to save the ugly for Lee Mason and his linesman, who since they have become Assistant Referees, have done nothing to assist! How on earth that was allowed to stand is beyond everyone in the football world except Lee Mason and the linesman. I have to quote Bill Shankly at this point:
“If a player is not interfering with play, he shouldn’t be on the pitch”
I am delighted though for Andrey, a player with undoubted ability but just hasn’t quite shined enough for us. I think it is his time to really go up a gear or two while Na Na is out. He has to start against Barca.
Also good to see Kos or Dave as he is known on the score sheet and save the day. Phew!
However, despite the good comeback, it is our lack of activity off the pitch over the last 4 weeks that will de-rail any championship bid from us. I have heard many arguments for and against AW splashing some cash. I am in the ‘for’ camp. I do appreciate AW’s and other fan’s view of that if we buy players, it stops the existing kids/players developing and where would you play them? However injuries are just around the corner (Na Na and Song already down) and our track record of getting players back quick isn’t great (look at RVP, TV5 and TR7). My other argument ‘for’ buying is that the players are too complacent. There simply is not enough competition for places. The first team last night, bar TR7, are all sitting comfortably knowing that we lack quality in the ranks below them.
I definitely do not condone the money splashed out by Chelsea and Liverpool on Monday. There was a good article in the Standard talking about our history-less London neighbours. There they were a year or so back preaching about trying to break even/make a profit and promoting young players from within. As soon as things start to look flaky, like potentially not qualifying for the CL, Daddy Roman digs into his pocket. Astonishingly this was on the same night they ‘buried’ their announcement of recording a £70m loss, by splashing out £70m+ on 2 players. They also sent out on loan some of their younger players. A big pack of lies from within Chelsea.
As for Liverpool, where the scouse media is having a field day and a mass love in, £35m for Andy Carroll? What would NB52 go for? I say £20m-£25m. He is a similar type of lummox player and has much more experience. The extra £10m for Carroll because he is English and therefore everyone goes nuts. Torres for Carroll – madness! If I was a Liverpool fan I would be far more excited by the arrival of Suarez. He is a class act and will score a hatful of goals.
People ask why we didn’t sign him. That is easy to answer – it is because he would have cost more than £2.50
To Newcastle it is next for the Arsenal. COYG!